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Old 03-01-2021, 11:11 AM   #1
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Generator question

We have a 2008 Thor Four Winds Class C MH with a Generac generator. We have a cord from the MH to plug into shore power and this same cord is used to connect the generator with the house wiring. Is it OK to leave the generator plugged in all the time (except on shore power) or should be unplug, start generator, then plug in generator? Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:17 AM   #2
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What *I* would do is to leave it plugged in all the time, but turn off any high draw appliances (air conditioner(s) and/or water heater) before starting the generator. That way it's not hit with a huge request for power when you first start it up.
Ideally, you turn off all high draw appliances a few minutes before you shut down the generator to give it a bit of a cool down period. If you're doing that then you won't have to remember to not have them on when restarting the generator.
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Podivin View Post
What *I* would do is to leave it plugged in all the time, but turn off any high draw appliances (air conditioner(s) and/or water heater) before starting the generator. That way it's not hit with a huge request for power when you first start it up.
Ideally, you turn off all high draw appliances a few minutes before you shut down the generator to give it a bit of a cool down period. If you're doing that then you won't have to remember to not have them on when restarting the generator.
Yup x2
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:14 PM   #4
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I also agree that it is fine to leave the shore-power cord plugged into the motor home's generator output. I can't imagine there being a concern.

Many motor homes have what is called a power transfer switch. It does automatically what you are doing manually with your power cord. Our rig has such a power transfer switch. I can't say for certain what it's default position is, or if it even has a default position of generator power or shore power.

Given that the generator starts out-putting 110V power a number of seconds after start-up, having the power cord plugged in and ready should be less an issue pre-plugged in rather than plugging it in after the fact.

Like Podivn says, it is very good practice to make sure all your big appliances are turned off prior to starting your generator, specifically to avoid a power surge.
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:36 PM   #5
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I also agree that it is fine to leave the shore-power cord plugged into the motor home's generator output. I can't imagine there being a concern.

Many motor homes have what is called a power transfer switch. It does automatically what you are doing manually with your power cord. Our rig has such a power transfer switch. I can't say for certain what it's default position is, or if it even has a default position of generator power or shore power.

Given that the generator starts out-putting 110V power a number of seconds after start-up, having the power cord plugged in and ready should be less an issue pre-plugged in rather than plugging it in after the fact.

Like Podivn says, it is very good practice to make sure all your big appliances are turned off prior to starting your generator, specifically to avoid a power surge.
ATS defaults to shore power but priority to generator, when its producing power, after 30 second delay.
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:56 PM   #6
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ATS defaults to shore power but priority to generator, when its producing power, after 30 second delay.
Ah!

Thank you!
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Old 03-01-2021, 08:41 PM   #7
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The manual specifically says to turn off the main circuit breaker before starting the engine...

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Old 03-02-2021, 04:50 AM   #8
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For $75, I would wire in an Automatic Transfer Switch.

Now you just start the generator without a load and it connects 30 seconds or so later.
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:39 PM   #9
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My '07 WBO View had the receptacle you plugged into with the shore cord. I always tell people to stow the cord and then plug it in. That way, if you stop somewhere for a lunch break and want to run the A/C or microwave, you won't have to get out and run around and open a compartment and plug it in. It also helps to protect the plug from getting damaged bouncing around in the compartment.

I installed an HW30 power management unit and when I did, I rotated the cover on the receptacle so the ground pin was outboard. The made it extremely easy to plug in the cord without twisting or kinking it. (WBO for some reason installs them with the ground pin up)



It is not plugged in, in this pic because I have a 15/30 dogbone and a 12 gauge cord powering it in my shop, saved having to drag out the shore cord to power it up in the shop.

This is a real foolproof setup and you are not dependent on a transfer switch which adds another layer of failure possibilities.

My Bigfoot trailer was originally wired the same way, but the cord storage was so small it was all but impossible to reach in and plug it into the generator outlet, as you could not get your hand in there, and also see what you were doing. I ended up removing the storage compartment and hardwired cord and installing a Twist Lock™ power inlet and yes, I had to install a generator transfer switch (the trailer has a built in Onan 2500LP generator)

Charles
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Old 03-03-2021, 04:49 AM   #10
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One thing I really like about having that 30 amp receptacle to plug into, is that your generator is wired to be a remote power station during times of need at home when the power goes out. For most class Cs, this means you have 4000 watts and 41 gallons of available gasoline to power your primary home during times of crisis. My motor home has a power transfer switch so I lack a 30 amp receptacle but I am looking into installing one for this purpose. I have to consider circuit breaker protection as well.

When tapping into the 30 amp for emergency use, I strongly recommend using 30 amp extension cords up to the point of most need in your main house such as the furnace or space heater, then use an adapter there. This way you have a lot more power where needed most, then branch out from there for small things like lighting, computer, television, etc.

CLICK HERE for Home Depot and CLICK HERE for Menards for 25-foot 30-amp extension cords.
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Old 03-04-2021, 12:09 AM   #11
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BEST PRACTICE= plugged into GEN, Main Breaker Off, start/ warm, (3-5-MIN) then flip Main=ON, then bring ON other circuits. This avoids potential big ARC at Plug that can damage Plug/ Receptacle
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:05 AM   #12
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This avoids potential big ARC at Plug that can damage Plug/ Receptacle
Exactly!
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